By Trinity College Reporter (edited).
TRINITY COLLEGE DUBLIN 70-0 DUBLIN DRAGONS
Sunday 1st April, ALSAA, Dublin Airport.
Having endured big losses in their opening two games to last years’ Shamrock bowl contenders, followed by a huge upset victory in game three over the Carrickfergus Knights, Trinity went into game four to face the Dublin Dragons, the final of the original four IAFL teams.
Trinity had several notable injuries ahead of the game. WR Craig Marron awaits an MRI result on a knee injury which prevented him play in 2010 following an injury in practise, and rookie QB Dan Flynn is still recovering from the separated shoulder which forced Trinity to play the second half of their Knights victory without an actual quarterback on the field. On that day, running back Rob McDowell stepped under center. Coming off a bye week and with Flynn still healing, Trinity had the opportunity to prepare McDowell for a role under center. The results in ALSAA turned out to be staggering.
The Dragons returned the opening kickoff to the 20 yard line and were solidly held on their opening drive by the Trinity defense. The Trinity offense took to the field with McDowell at QB and rookie RB Josh Megan getting to step into McDowell’s shoes in the backfield. Trinity got into scoring range however the Dragons managed to hold firm and in stopping Trinity on fourth down. They saw their offense take to the field for their second drive from the 25. The Trinity D was once again unfazed and the Trinity offense took to the field from the 35 following a good return by Megan on the Dragons punt.
The Dragons made two solid stops against Trinity’s run game but on 3rd down McDowell found WR Alex Gurnee for a 10yd gain. McDowell then ran it to the 1yd line, bringing the first quarter to a close at a surprising 0-0. On third down however Megan ran up the middle to give Trinity the lead, and a big catch by WR Tyler Cooper gave Trinity an 8-0 scoreline.
A big defensive effort led by medical student Vince Ngo saw the Dragons to a quick 3 and out. Trinity took possession at their 30, and a big run from Megan and catch from WR Andrew Walsh had Trinity marching the field until a penalty sent them back 15 yds. Trinity appeared to be on comfortable, but still only holding an 8-0 . Some nice catches from WR’s Walsh and Cooper saw Trinity continue down the field, and Trinity finished the drive finding WR Alex Gurnee for a big catch in the endzone. McDowell failed to connect with the 2PAT, giving TCD a 14-0 lead early in the 2nd.
Trinity’s next possession stalled but the Dragons failed to capitalise and on 4th down Junior LBDave Barker tackled the Dragons punter for a safety. On the first play of Trinity’s next drive WR Alex Gurnee found the endzone once again for a 40 yd TD and Peter Quinlan kicked the PAT giving TCD a 22-0 lead at the half.
The second half saw Trinity receive the kick, and Rob McDowell yet again taking a ball from his endzone and sprinting the length of the field for a TD which ended the game as a contest. Quinlan again converted the PAT, bringing the game to 29-0. Trinity’s next drive saw WR Daniel Murphy make his mark on the game, catching 3 passes including one in the endzone to give a TCD 35 point lead. Big stops by rookies Adam O’Shea and Andrew Redmond on the Dragons ensuing drive saw Trinity take the field again and McDowell found the endzone quickly, this time WR Andrew Walsh catching the TD. By now Receivers Coach John Heffernan had seen all of his players reach the endzone. Another missed PAT left it at 41-0.
The Dragons gained big on the kickoff bringing them to Trinity’s 25 and their best field position of the day, but on 3rd down rookie LB Andrew Redmond intercepted the QB and returned it for a touchdown. On the 2PAT Coach O’Toole sent on former Dragon and Trinity student Tom Lenihan at fullback and he bulldozed into the endzone making it 49-0 Trinity with the bulk of the 4th quarter to go.
Another 3 and out for the Dragons then saw Megan and Cooper see some nice touches before McDowell took it 30 yards to the endzone himself and Quinlan kick the PAT to make it 57-0 TCD. Cornerback Conor Campbell then picked off the Dragons QB on 2nd down and gain plaudits from Trinity DB Coach Dave McGrath, and McDowell then threw deep and it was hauled in by Tyler Cooper, bringing Trinity to the redzone once again. On this drive however the Dragons would show they could step up and shut Trinity down on all four downs. Trinity’s defense held firm against a quick passing attack, and saw their offense return to the field. Three plays later, McDowell broke a blistering 70 yd run to the endzone to make it 64-0. Big plays by Vince Ngo and DE Cormac “Too-Tall” Coughlin saw McDowell take to the field on the Trinity 20 with 90 seconds to go.
Post game McDowell was named as Twentyone Club and Lounge Game MVP, and his final play from scrimmage turned into one of the best plays of the season. McDowell shrugged off a strong blitz and escaped the tackle, rolled out of the pocket and proceeded to slalom through seven attempts to tackle him as he stormed 70 yds to the endzone.
Members of new IAFL team, the Waterford Wolves were guests of Trinity’s coaching staff for the day and saw how explosive the IAFL can be. Trinity reach 2-2 and play Tullamore Phoenix next. The Dragons next game is against IAFL North leaders, Belfast Trojans.
Other Week 6 Results:
Craigavon Cowboys 26-14 Tullamore Phoenix
UL Vikings 55-13 Carrickfergus Knights